‘Understatement is extremely important and crossing too many t’s and dotting too many i’s make a room look overdone and tiresome’
Nancy Lancaster is considered a crucial figure for 20th Century Interior Design. Although born in America, she was obsessed with British architecture and lifestyle and her work is considered to optimise The English Country House Styles, that was established in the 1920s.
Her work was notable for its sense of scale, boldness, wit and mellowness; elements that were considered the best qualities of English Country Interiors. Her style was defined by mismatched chintz, well-worn gilt and deep comfortable upholstery.
She loved houses, possibly more than people. Her description of rooms was not only how they looked but how they felt, and what made them comfortable and hospitable. She considered comfort as a strong attribute for a country house, and reinstated the spirit of a place without the stuffiness of stately opulence. Through her choice of colours, fabrics and the correct position of furniture she breathed new life into old houses, making them look neither too sumptuous nor too new. She made grand houses, less grand.
Her refined, romantic and comfortable style became popular thanks to a professional partnership with John Fowler. Together they created a celebrated aesthetic sense with a particular sensitively to colours and the historical environment in which they found themselves designing. This resulted in an authentic interior that was pleasant and without excesses. Together they created a language of colour which the design world continuously references to this day, ‘dead salmon’, ‘mouses back’ etc.
Comfort represented luxury. A concept we strive towards in our interiors.
Area of Inspiration: Importance of comfort, sensitivity to colour and historical environment, furniture placement.